May the eagles of democracy soar above the covenant that binds our great nation in an era of new beginning … or something.
Have you ever watched an inaugural address and wondered: How DO those guys (because they’re always guys) do it? Well, we’ve prepared this handy guide so you, too, can give a speech like the chief executive.
Our instructions are based on a century of recorded footage. William McKinley’s address was the first to be recorded by a “motion picture camera” (in 1897). Calvin Coolidge was the first to be broadcast over the radio (in 1925).
They all hit a lot of the same points, and we’ve distilled those down into 11 easy steps. After watching this video, you’ll have seen the power of Lyndon Johnson’s hand gestures and learned the art of repetition from George H. W. Bush. Throw in a band of fifers and a giant floating peanut (for Jimmy Carter, the one-time peanut-farmer), and you’ve got yourself a successful inauguration.
Sadly, according to our scientific and systematic research, not one president has cracked a joke. Dear Mr. President: That would be a change we can believe in.
And one more general note that didn’t make it into our guide: Speak as slowly as possible. Even though there are thousands of people waiting in freezing conditions for you to finish your speech, take your time. It will make it that much easier for future generations to edit your address into a satirical video.
P.S. We ran out of time to make an inauguration speech drinking game, so let us know if you’re up to the task.